Ancient Solution to Many Modern Problems: Structural Bamboo
By Sam Small Vice President - Developing Markets, Bamboo Living | August 10, 2010
There's a catch-22 built into a lot of post-hurricane reconstruction efforts: Concrete is one of the most prevalent construction materials used to rebuild in hurricane zones, especially in the Caribbean. Unfortunately, concrete is a very energy intensive substance, which requires the burning of a lot of extra coal, which adds greatly to the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which furthers global warming, which is making for stronger hurricanes.
And let's face it; most concrete construction is downright ugly.
The fact is that pouring concrete, manufacturing steel and processing hardwoods are all much more carbon gas generating than utilizing the fastest growing natural building material in the world - Structural Bamboo.
We know all this through of a global study done at Eindhoven University of Technology in the Netherlands that compared the embodied energy of bamboo against other building materials. Embodied energy is the sum of all energy inputs required to grow, mine or extract the raw material, process the material and place it in construction, the whole nine yards relating to energy. The study found that even when you include the shipping of bamboo between hemispheres on diesel fueled cargo ships, there is ten times more energy consumed in building with concrete than in building with Structural Bamboo. According to the study too, steel and wood also have very high levels of embodied energy compared to Structural Bamboo.
To its credit too, architectural designs expressed through Structural Bamboo result in an esthetic that seems universally appealing to human occupation. Put simply, people like Bamboo.
The Most Ancient Building Material